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Somdev to lead India challenge

Somdev Devvarman will spearhead India's singles challenge in a four-member team announced by the All India Tennis Association today for the Davis Cup World Group playoffs against Japan from September 16 to 18.

sports Updated: Aug 19, 2011 23:57 IST
HT Correspondent/Agencies

Somdev Devvarman will lead India's singles challenge at the Davis Cup World Group playoff tie against Japan in an away tie in September. After a selection committee meeting here on Thursday night, a six member team was announced who will play the playoff in Tokyo from September 16-18.

It came as no suprise that Rohan Bopanna has been chosen to play the second singles while it has again fallen on the shoulders of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi to weave their magic in the doubles. The selection committee announced the names of Karan Rastogi and Vishnu Vardhan as the team reserves based on ATP rankings and recent performances.

“The team seems to be good," said SP Misra, India's non playing captain. "The players will reach Tokyo after playing in the US Open. We will hope to make it to the world group."

Lee-Hesh in quarters

Cincinnati: India's Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi and compatriot Rohan Bopanna and his Pakistani partner Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi are through to the quarterfinals of the men's doubles at the Western & Southern tennis championships here.

Paes and Bhupathi, seeded third, had an easy 6-4, 6-2 victory over Spanish pair Rafael Nadal and Marc Lopez, while fifth-seeded Bopanna and Quresh were taken to a super tie-breaker by Argentineans Juan Ignacio Chela and Juan Monaco before winning 6-3, 5-7, 10-4, here Thursday.

Paes and Bhupathi will now play Czech Republic pair Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepenek.


Nadal surges ahead

World number two Rafa Nadal scraped into the quarter-finals of the Cincinnati Open after beating fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 in a fierce battle on Thursday but his rivals all had comfortable paths into the last eight.

Seven of the top eight seeds have reached the quarter-finals.

The all-Spanish contest though was a gruelling grind in the mid-day heat that lasted three hours and 38 minutes and was decided by a mistake-filled third tie-break. Nadal, who gave up three match points in the decisive tie-break, stuck with the task to finish off a determined Verdasco despite never finding his rhythm.